During this episode we speak with Nicole A Johnson, Executive Director, and Caroline Tung Richmond, Program Director of We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry. Our aim is to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. Listen as Nicole and Caroline give updates on the 2019 Walters Award, Our Story book app , resource to find diverse books, current WNDB initiatives and so much more.
To learn more about We Need Diverse Books go to: https://diversebooks.org
Nicole A. Johnson has over twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, program development, and resource development. Prior to joining WNDB, she launched Extraordinary Changes, an organizational development consulting firm, and she also served as Senior Director for Elev8 Baltimore, a full-service community schools initiative. In that role, she successfully planned a strategy to integrate learning, health, and family support services into the operations of four schools in East Baltimore. Over a seven-year period, she transitioned the initiative from start-up to sustainability, drawing upon her skills as a facilitator, strategic planner, grant writer, and youth worker.
Nicole has also worked as a director of after-school and summer programs across the country, including the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. These programs became a platform for her to promote diverse books and literacy to children of color in cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and Baltimore. She is also the founder of Baltimore Read Aloud, a local campaign to introduce diverse books to Baltimore City children and youth.
Caroline Tung Richmond has worked with WNDB since 2014, starting as a volunteer and then joining the staff in 2017. She’s also an award-winning YA author; and her novels include The Only Thing to Fear, The Darkest Hour, Live In Infamy, and more. She lives in Virginia with her family.